Soviet Russia: Occupation of the Democratic Republic of Georgia (1921) and the Main Threat to Modern Foreign Policy

Soviet Russia: Occupation of the Democratic Republic of Georgia (1921) and the Main Threat to Modern Foreign Policy

Manana Darchashvili
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-8911-3.ch007
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The First Democratic Republic of Georgia (1918-1921) left an important mark on the history of the country. One hundred years have passed since the occupation of Georgia by Russian troops. However, during the Soviet era, Soviet propaganda did not portray the incident as such; on the contrary, on February 25, 1921, the day the capital was captured, the country's population celebrated “Sovietization.” During the three years of independence, a lot has been done by the national government for the development of the country, as a result of selfless work in terms of establishing democracy. Thus, the chapter deals with the annexation and conquest of the independent republic of Georgia by Soviet Russia. Especially, it gives the analysis of the events of February-March 1921 which has its reflection even nowadays. Moreover, it clearly illustrates the Russian-Georgian War of 2008, which practically divided the country into three parts and damaged Georgia's territorial integrity.
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The processes taking place in the world at the beginning of the twentieth century determined the fate of several countries in a certain period. Russia, which aimed to abolish the Georgian state and make it an integral part of Russia, met with hostility on May 26, 1918, the restoration of the Georgian state's independence. Consequently, taking advantage of the international situation, in February-March 1921 he managed to reconquer it. Despite the great resistance, the country was Sovietized. Despite seventy years of forced “protection”, Georgia again managed to regain its territorial independence in 1991, which was again followed by punitive operations from the side of such a big neighbor as Russia. In Abkhazia and Shida Kartli, with the support of the activated separatist forces, their goal has been achieved, the territorial integrity of Georgia has been violated. The constant aggression by Russia since that time has been followed by a severe blow to the country that was hit by the August 2008 war following by a creeping occupation that continues up today.

The aim of the research: to study and present the goals of the Soviet Russia struggle in Georgia; the existing problems caused by his imperialist, conquering policies; state policy of the country for the protection of territories and the maintenance of peace. Moreover, the goal of the paper is to study and present the occupation of the Democratic Republic of Georgia by Soviet Russia in the early twentieth century in 1921, which after a century still represents the main threat to the foreign policy of modern Georgia.

Research Method: the qualitative method is used in the work and is based on historical-comparative, retrospective, and substantive analysis, at the same time critical understanding and generalization of empirical material, presents the issue from different angles.

The hypothesis of the work: in 1921 the annexation and conquest of the independent republic of Georgia by Soviet Russia. Russia continues its conquest policy towards Georgia even at the present stage, therefore, thus representing the biggest puzzle of the country's foreign policy.

Conclusion/recommendations based on the analysis of the empirical material used in the article, relevant scientific literature, educational documents, have educational and practical value for stakeholders.



In Georgian reality, the study of Russia-Georgia relations is very relevant. Interest in the issue is growing especially in the jubilee years. Consequently, in modern Georgian historiography, the topic of February 25, 1921, the date of the conquest of Georgia by Russia, is presented in great detail, we can realize it more clearly according to certain authors’ researchers. In particular, the authors who have been observing the dynamics of the political process since the Soviet period point out that the authors who worked in the Soviet period, given the regime in the country, it is not surprising that they assessed reality in a completely different way. Authors who have been engaged in scientific activities mainly since the restoration of the state independence of Georgia are actively involved in research activities and young authors. Consequently, it is very interesting to review the works of the authors who have been observing the dynamics of the development of political processes since the Soviet period and based on the study of documentary materials. Political scientist M. Matsaberidze describes how May 26 became a symbol of Georgia's struggle for independence, how the replacement of May 26 began in 1922 with February 25, marking the day of the Russian Red Army's entry into Tbilisi (Matsaberidze, 2018). Since 1922, the Bolshevik government has covered May 26 with February 25 and declared Soviet Georgia the “birthday” of Soviet Georgia, which began, as the Bolsheviks themselves called it, the “true independence” of Georgia.

It is important that M. Matsaberidze names a number of authors and their articles, which were published in the newspaper “Communist”. On February 25, 1922, the Communists published several articles substantiating the historical significance of this day with arguments that “with the establishment of the Soviet government, the workers and peasants of Georgia gained freedom and Georgia gained true independence.”

Historian M. Bakhtadze in his work “From the History of the War of Russia-Georgia War of 1921”, presents the ongoing processes in February-March 1921 based on the memoirs of the war participants and the study of the press. Describes the course of political processes in Georgia, the events of November-December 1920, and the war in February-March 1921 (Bakhtadze, 2013).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Georgia: An Independent, Sovereign State in the South Caucasus.

State: An organ of state power in a given territory that establishes rules of and exercises its sovereign powers through a special apparatus, ensures the rule of law, public order, and integrity. A state society is an organization of political power.

War: An organized armed struggle that can be waged by states, peoples participating in national liberation struggles, as well as parties to an ongoing armed conflict within the state to achieve economic and political goals.

Aggression: Any behavior that is committed by one (aggressor) and is intended to harm another (victim).

Annexation: The appropriation or threat of the use of a territory or part of it by another state.

Aggressor: The perpetrator of evil and illegal actions; invader, conqueror of a war of conquest or country.

Conquest: Subjugation by force, war, appropriation.

Russia: Russia is a federal state of 83 federal entities. Its land border is the largest in the world and ranks first in the world in terms of area.

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